Squint is the term used when the two eyes are not pointing in the same direction.
An eye may turn in (convergent squint) or turn out (divergent squint). Occasionally one eye may be higher or lower than the other (vertical squint). The squint may be constant (present at all times) or occur only intermittently. 'Strabismus' is another word for 'squint'
Glasses: Glasses are one of the most common treatments for squints. They can be used to correct the vision problems (refractive errors) that may be causing the squint, such as:
- short-sightedness (myopia)
- long-sightedness (hyperopia)
- an unevenly curved cornea (astigmatism)
Children's glasses will have plastic rather than glass lenses to reduce the risk of possible injury. Your child will usually need to wear their glasses all the time.
Eye exercises:In some cases, it may be possible to treat a squint using special eye exercises that help the eyes work together.
Botulinum toxin injection:Botulinum toxin may be a treatment option for some types of squint.
It can be injected into one of the muscles that move the eye. The injection temporarily weakens the injected muscle, allowing the eyes to realign.
The effects of botulinum toxin usually last around three months. After this time, the eyes may stay in position or they may go back out of alignment and require further treatment.
Children will usually be given medication to help them relax (a sedative) before having the botulinum toxin injection.
Botulinum toxin injections can cause temporary side effects such as:
- a droopy eyelid (ptosis)
- the eye "drifting" slightly, so it appears as if one eye is looking up
- double vision
- some bleeding over the white part of the eye
Surgery:If treatment doesn't work, surgery may be recommended. Surgery can be used to: improve the alignment of the eyes (and therefore their appearance) help the eyes work together